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Keep Your FOCUS
Have you ever sat down at your computer to work on a project only to find it's 2 hours later and you've accomplished nothing (or at least what you had planned)? You had good intentions, but you lost your focus. Maybe it was following that fascinating thread on the web or maybe it was that quick look at email before you got started — just to check.
Have you ever started an organizing project in one room only to find yourself clearing off a different area because you felt you needed to put that one item away immediately?
We all get side-tracked at one time or another. But keeping your FOCUS is key to accomplishing your plans, projects and goals. An acronym I love for focus, from the book Organizing for the Creative Person by Dorothy Lehmkuhl & Dolores Cotter Lamping says it all:
(check it out from your local library,
get it from your local bookseller,
Here are ways to help you stay FOCUSed:
Define and clarify the project or the problem you are trying to solve. Write it down. Post it where you'll see it. Refer back to it often and ask yourself "am I making progress on this?"
Set a timer for 17, 23 or 34 minutes**. When it goes off, check to make sure you're doing what you need to do to accomplish your goal. This is just to check in with your FOCUS task.
Start a list and jot down all those other things you think of that you need to do. Don't do them. That's not your FOCUS. But now you have a safe place to put these ideas. When you're finished, you can refocus on them.
If you're organizing a space — start a box for stuff that belongs somewhere other than the area you are working on. When you are finished with your current organizing project, then you can find a place for those items. Check out 10 Steps to Clearing the Clutter
Establish a time to check your emails AFTER you work on your project. Checking email before or during can sidetrack you. Shut off the "you've got mail" indicator so you don't feel drawn to check.
Check the next step of your project. If you find you are doing other less important tasks, is your next step small and manageable enough to keep you out of procrastination? Check out What's Your Next Step?
Breathe. Sometimes you may lose focus because you're getting into overwhelm. Taking a deep breath, and then one more, will help bring oxygen to your brain and focus to your efforts.
So keep your FOCUS and Follow One Course Until Successful. Whether you use one of the above tips or some other technique, have fun and enjoy life!
** You could also set your timer for 15, 20, or 30 minutes.